The fig tree fascinates me. I found a new one the other morning – it had decided to grow between the spiny thorns of a cactus that had occupied its pot for more than twenty years.
The cactus had just recently flowered – being one of those seductive creatures that thrusts forward its large, swollen flower cases to burst open in the dark of night, for only a few rapturous minutes. Great creamy, lustrous white petals surround the heart of its voluptuous centre, where a succulent yellow stamen rests against yellow tinged petals.
An exotic fragrance draws all manner of night beetles and moths into its luscious depths. By morning, the pink flower cases have closed and droop toward the ground, limp and flaccid, undeniably spent.
Unlike my showy cactus, the fig is highly modest and shows great decorum and restraint when it comes to reproduction. It is fascinating indeed. The vase shaped “fruit” is actually a syconium, the enlarged hollow tip of the flower stalk, which has closely massed tiny flowers growing inside on its inner wall. These flowers never open up to the outside world, but once fertilized, to read the rest of this story and others, visit our Welcome page at Stories My Nana Tells
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